Australian Open: Gladiator Andy Murray edges Thanasi Kokkinakis at 4:05 am

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Australian Open: Gladiator Andy Murray edges Thanasi Kokkinakis at 4:05 am

Andy Murray is through into the Australian Open third round after an epic night at Margaret Court Arena. Andy came from two sets to love down to prevail over Thanasi Kokkinakis 4-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 in five hours and 45 minutes.

Andy and Thanasi played the second-longest Australian Open match and finished a thrilling battle at 4:05 am Melbourne time! Four years after almost retiring, Andy has won two marathon matches within two nights, giving his 120% and refusing to surrender.

Four out of five sets lasted over an hour, with two rivals throwing everything at each other in a night to remember. The veteran claimed four points more than the crowd favorite, overcoming a 5-2 deficit in the third set and embracing one of his most outstanding comebacks in a career.

There were many turnarounds, and the crowd at Margaret Court Arena witnessed incredible strokes from both. Thanasi blasted 37 aces, but it was not enough to carry him home. The home star fired 102 winners and 67 unforced errors, staying aggressive and beating Andy's 69-43 ratio.

They stayed neck and neck in the shortest, mid-range and most advanced rallies, and we will hardly see a tighter encounter in the rest of the event. Murray seized five out of 22 break points and gave serve away four times, prevailing with a late break in the deciding set's closing stages.

Kokkinakis grabbed a break at 2-2 in the opening set after Murray's loose forehand. After that, the Aussie produced three comfortable holds and closed the tenth game at 15 for 6-4 in 52 minutes. The second set saw good serving from both players until 4-4.

Andy missed a routine backhand in the ninth game to lose serve at love and push Thanasi in front. The Briton saved three set points on the return in game ten and broke back after the Aussie's wild forehand. The set went into a tie break, and Kokkinakis fired an ace at 6-4 to wrap it up and forge two sets to love advantage after two hours and six minutes.

Andy Murray ousted Thanasi Kokkinakis after almost six hours!

They traded breaks in the third set's games two and three, and Thanasi delivered another return game at 3-2 following Andy's wayward forehand. Andy held at love in game eight to reduce the deficit, with only one chance left to prolong the battle.

Kokkinakis served for the victory at 5-3 and experienced a break that would cost him dearly. Murray was back in action, and the set reached the second consecutive tie break. The Aussie stood two points away from victory at 5-5, but it was not to be for him.

Murray moved 6-5 up with a service winner and seized a set point thanks to Kokkinakis' terrible volley to reduce the overall deficit after three hours and 28 minutes. The fourth set saw nine games and still lasted 70 minutes!

Andy grabbed a break in the sixth game and served for the set at 5-3. The Briton faced two break points and denied them with brave hitting before clinching the set with an ace to force a decider after four hours and 38 minutes!

They barely had anything left in the tank and still had to endure another hour on the court! Returners stood no chance in the opening six games, as they reached 3-3 for more drama. Thanasi played against four break points in game seven and denied them to bring the game home and providing a massive hold.

The Aussie stood two points away from the finish on the return at 5-4, and the Briton held after deuce for more excitement. Murray made one last push on the return in game 11 and seized the fourth break chance with a forehand crosscourt winner that sent him 6-5 in front.

Andy served for an epic win in game 12 and cracked a backhand down the line winner for one of the most impressive victories of his incredible career.